Sunday, July 31, 2011

San Diego Comic Con 2011

Yes, Comic Con has ended. And only now do I do a recap. It was fun, exciting, and exhausting. With so many panels, screenings, artists, and parties (yes, geeks convene) it's hard to remember it all. Rob and I took some blurry pictures, to coincide with blurry memories.

Although Wednesday was preview night, they opened the flood gates to the masses on Thursday. The Exhibition hall was teeming with cosplayers. Some were very funny, like this dude, Magneto. I can't imagine anyone not wearing sneakers. It's a lot of standing and walking around, especially if your hotel is more than a few blocks away.

On Friday, the Lock and Key panel had the creators Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez, along with the screenwriter, producer, actors, and director Mark Romanek of the TV pilot, talk about the process of converting the graphic novel to a TV show.

This followed a special screening of the pilot. From what I heard, it was really good. Will it ever become a series? Right now, no. But I'm still crossing my fingers.

So until then, I'll keep reading the trades. I just finished the third volume and I can't get enough of it. All I do is gasp when I turn the page. We even got the fourth volume at SDCC signed by Joe and Gabriel. Yes, we are on a first name basis with them. At least on this blog.

Later Friday night we attended the Tr!ckster event at the San Diego Wine and Culinary Center. They featured a gallery of original art based on Kurosawa films. Proceeds went to the Japanese Relief fund. Lots of talented artists contributed pieces, like this one inspired by the film Throne of Blood.
On Saturday we headed to a Comics Creator panel featuring Robert Kirkman, Brian K. Vaughn, Jonathan Ross, Frank Cho, Jonathan Hickman, and Fiona Staples. They talked about past projects and what they're working on now. Judging by the photo they don't seem excited but they are. Trust!

And yes, finally BKV is returning to comics. His next series is called Saga. We received a poster just for sitting in the first few rows. I got him and Fiona to sign it. Truth be told, it's already framed. He seems really committed to Saga, and hopes it continues for a long time.

I asked Robert Kirkman about the Walking Dead show and how the second season is panning out. He's all about the creator's voice and really encourages people wanting to break in, to keep working towards their goal.

Thanks Bob!

Now the following photos are in no particular order. But I have to say meeting the creators (writers and artists) is such a treat. You can see that they really appreciate their fans, especially when you approach them with your favorite book.

Like for instance, having Eric Powell sign my favorite Goon book, Chinatown. He made it out to me and did a quick sketch of Goon's ugly/cute mug. I was about to remind him that I was the girl who asked for a quick sketch of Danger Mouse last year, but who would remember that? Besides me.

Here's Bill Willingham (Fables) signing at a video game booth.

Artist Dave Gibbons was signing Watchmen.

Craig Thompson was signing at the Top Shelf booth. I'm sure he gets this a lot but Blankets made me cry. Like actual sobbing.

His new book comes out later this year.

Rob had the pleasure of meeting Jerry Robinson, the creator of the Joker, one of the most famous villains in comic book history.

Filmmakers are always around, too.
Edgar Wright was promoting Scott Pilgrim last year. Joss Whedon is always going from panel to panel. This year, Guillermo del Toro was at the Legendary Pictures booth for his next film, Pacific Rim.

Then we get this weird photo op with Billy Zane holding someone's baby. He's one of the few people wearing a suit at a con. Bold move, sir. Bold.

Cute kid, too.

Finally Sunday, we bought some merch and decided to head to the train station early. Well not early enough. There was a mega line and the train oversold seats, as usually for this time of year. Rob and I had a great weekend, met up with friends, and made some new ones. Also, I got compliments on my shirt. The only time I found Luke attractive was when he trained with Master Yoda at the swamp. Thanks, Her Universe.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Akiko Bound Set

A few years ago during my weekly trip to Meltdown Comics in Hollywood, I was looking through their spinner rack selection of 25 cent comics.  I would often grab a couple of issues from the rack, because, well.... they were only 25 cents!  I'm not sure why, possibly because I enjoy a good family friendly story or maybe just because it looked interesting, but I picked up a couple issues of Akiko.  With a huge backlog of comics to read, I didn't get around to these issues for quite a while.  When I eventually did read the comics I found them to be very entertaining, nothing earth shattering, but enough to leave me wanting more.

Over the next year, I managed to complete the entire series (helped mightily by winning an ebay auction of 40+ issues for 3 dollars shipped, SCORE!).  I split the 52 issue series into two volumes; 1-25 and 26-52, starting the second volume before a 6 issue arc.  I had them bound at the now defunct Library Binding Company, a bindery that was quite popular because of their low prices.  For no reason in particular, I went with an orange buckram and gold foiling color scheme.  I think it came out pretty well.

Library Binding's base price was 15 dollars for a book with a computer lettered spine, no head or tail lines/bands, and up to 2" thick.  I never really liked the way those no-frills books looked; just my personal taste.  So when I customized my bind to have a hand lettered spine, the books wound up costing about $40 shipped each.  At the time I was over the moon with the books, but in hind sight they pale in comparison to the quality of work I've found from other binderies.  There was some glue seepage that make a few page stick together and also slightly uneven trimming.  These weren't major problems and if my more recent binds weren't as great as they are, I probably wouldn't have given it a second thought, but they are still problems nonetheless.  I've seen a lot of people happy with their Library Binding books, but personally I'm glad I found new binderies.

As for the content of the books, Akiko is a very funny all ages comic.  The stories jump back and forth between longer multi-issue arcs and shorter done-in-one issues.  But regardless of format, Mark Crilley (writer/artist) manages to keep all the different types of stories entertaining.  The art is also another strong point of the series.  The black and white (and grayscale) art starts out quite good, but continues to get better throughout the run.  That's one of the cool thing about reading a long series; watching the growth of its creator.  Crilley spent almost ten years making the series and you can tell how much he loved the book and how he would try to push himself to better his skills.  From reading the letters column (a great advantage to having bound the original issues), he would listen to all opinions, good and bad, and then try to improve the book with every subsequent arc.  I'll be honest, the letters columns were so informative that I think I might have enjoyed them more then the stories.  All in all, Akiko is a fun series that I would recommend and I'm glad I had it bound.